If you’re a digital nomad exploring Thailand, Vietnam, or Cambodia, you may consider visiting Laos. Nestled between Thailand and Vietnam, this landlocked nation is gradually turning heads among digital nomads for its affordability and peaceful ambiance.
While Laos may not be as prominent on the digital nomad trail as its neighboring countries, the country boasts various attractions that make it well worth considering.
However, one stumbling block is the internet connectivity. In the capital, Vientiane, you’ll find an array of cafes offering free Wi-Fi and several coworking spaces equipped with decent facilities, but the internet speed is often sluggish and inconsistent. This reality may pose a significant hurdle for digital nomads thinking of an extended stay in Laos.
Nonetheless, if you’re in the vicinity, eager to discover new places, and can manage without high-speed internet for a while, Laos, with its stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage, is definitely worth a detour.
- Popular Places for Digital Nomads in Laos
- Accommodation for Digital Nomads in Laos
- Workspaces and Internet Reliability
- Cost of Living in Laos as a Digital Nomad
- Culture and Language in Laos
- Lao Cuisine and Food Options
- Transportation and Mobility in Laos
- Leisure and Outdoor Activities
- Safety and Healthcare in Laos
- Laos Visa for Digital Nomads
- Useful YouTube Videos for Digital Nomads in Laos
- Digital Nomad in Laos: Conclusion
Popular Places for Digital Nomads in Laos
The capital city, Vientiane, is a popular choice among digital nomads for its easy access to necessary amenities such as internet, co-working spaces, and a variety of food options. The city retains a laid-back atmosphere, allowing nomads to focus on their work without the hustle and bustle typically found in larger Southeast Asian cities.
The city is a cultural tapestry, with the majestic Pha That Luang stupa standing as a national symbol, and the intriguing Buddha Park offering spiritual exploration. The city’s culinary scene is a delectable fusion of Lao, Thai, and French flavors, with vibrant nightlife and markets presenting an authentic local experience.
Vientiane’s historical heart is mirrored in landmarks like the Patuxai Victory Monument, while the Mekong River underscores its natural beauty and agricultural life.
Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Laos, is a picturesque mosaic of traditional Lao and colonial French architecture, renowned for its spiritual ambiance with numerous Buddhist temples, like the exquisite Wat Xieng Thong.
The city is an adventurer’s paradise, offering activities from trekking to kayaking, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Mekong River and lush mountains. The vibrant night market, brimming with local crafts and gastronomic delights, epitomizes the city’s cultural richness.
However, digital nomads may find the internet connectivity inadequate for professional needs, and while there are no dedicated coworking spaces, several cafes serve as decent makeshift workstations.
Nestled in central Laos, Vang Vieng is a sanctuary for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts, surrounded by majestic limestone karsts, verdant forests, and the tranquil Nam Song River.
The town offers an adrenaline rush with activities like tubing, kayaking, rock climbing, and cave exploration. Attractions such as the Tham Chang Cave and the ethereal Blue Lagoon are not to be missed.
Despite its tumultuous past with unrestrained revelry, Vang Vieng has reinvented itself, focusing on its natural beauty and cultural experiences, though it remains more of a leisure destination than a digital nomad hotspot due to limited internet connectivity.
The town’s outskirts are an ecological treasure, perfect for exploration on bike or motorcycle, offering an intimate glimpse of Laotian rural life and natural wonders.
Laos is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia, offering numerous destinations for digital nomads seeking unique experiences amid its rich cultural and natural landscapes. The laid-back atmosphere and slow-paced lifestyle make this country an ideal destination for remote workers who need a break from the hustle and bustle.
In addition to these destinations, Laos boasts several unique attractions that are worth exploring. For those seeking an authentic cultural experience, Nong Khiaw is a quaint village nestled between towering limestone cliffs. Its serenity and natural beauty make it a perfect destination to unwind and focus on work while enjoying the unparalleled scenery of this remote paradise.
Pakse is the gateway to southern Laos, known for its dynamic landscape and breathtaking natural wonders. The city offers a range of activities, from exploring the majestic Bolaven Plateau with its coffee plantations and waterfalls to cruising down the Mekong River towards the 4,000 Islands, which are a collection of picturesque islets.
With its diverse range of destinations and experiences, Laos caters to the varying preferences of travelers, from city life to remote villages, ensuring an enriching and unforgettable adventure throughout this enchanting country.
Accommodation for Digital Nomads in Laos
For digital nomads planning to settle in Laos, finding suitable accommodation is a vital aspect of a comfortable stay. Various options cater to different preferences and budgets: hotels, guesthouses, hostels, and more long-term rentals like apartments.
Like in any other country, hotels in Laos are available at different price points, with budget hotels and high-end luxury hotels for those seeking a more lavish experience. These hotels often provide amenities such as Wi-Fi and workspaces, essential for digital nomads.
Hostels are a popular choice among budget-conscious backpackers and digital nomads looking for affordable accommodation in Laos. They provide simple living spaces, shared amenities, and opportunities to connect with fellow travelers. Dorm rooms are available from around $5 per night, some hostels also offer private rooms for those seeking privacy, as low as $20 per night.
In conclusion, regardless of budget and preference, Laos offers a variety of accommodation options catering to digital nomads’ needs. Whether one prefers the comforts of a hotel or the social aspects of a hostel, the country has something for everyone.
Workspaces and Internet Reliability
The capital city, Vientiane, has a number of comfortable and clean cafes that provide free internet service.
However, it should be noted that Laos’s internet speeds are generally slow. While the internet can be acceptable for some digital nomad tasks, it is not ideal for those who require high-speed connections. Furthermore, some digital nomads have reported that the country could benefit from improvements in internet infrastructure.
In addition to cafes, there are also coworking spaces available in Vientiane. These spaces provide more reliable WiFi as well as networking opportunities and a sense of community for digital nomads. Usually, they offer daily, weekly, or monthly memberships, granting access to various amenities such as meeting rooms, private offices, and event spaces.
Coworking Space in Vientiane
Lab De Lines
Lab De Lines is a spacious and stylish coworking space, great for temporary offices or small group sessions. They provide flexible desks in their coworking space called “Share Hive”, as well as private offices and meeting and event space. There’s also a cafe nearby for drinks and snacks. Ideal for focused work or casual meetings.
Address: Donnokkoum Rd, Vientiane,Laos
Toong operates a network of coworking spaces in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Toong Samsenthai is directly connected to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Vientiane.
Address: 20 Samsenthai Road, Nongduang Nua Village, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane, Laos
Get a local SIM card or eSIM
Getting a local SIM card in Laos provides you with mobile data access, handy as a backup or for travel. The primary providers are Unitel, Lao Telecom, TPlus (Beeline), and ETL. SIM cards are available at airports, mobile shops, and some convenience stores, costing about $1-$2.
Alternatively, you can use eSIM like Airalo, which enables you to purchase and install a SIM package without swapping SIM cards.
Cost of Living in Laos as a Digital Nomad
Laos offers a reasonable cost of living that attracts digital nomads looking for an affordable place to w. In general, a nomad can live comfortably in Laos on a monthly budget of around $1,000 USD. This budget covers accommodation, food, transportation, and other basic expenses.
The cost of housing varies depending on the location and type of accommodation. In the capital city of Vientiane, simple hostels cost around $5 to $10 a night in dorms, and private rooms from around $20 per night.
Food in Laos is generally affordable, with both budget and more upscale dining options available. Traditional Lao dishes such as larb, sticky rice, and tam mak hoong can be found at reasonable prices. Street food and local markets also offer delicious and inexpensive meals, while international cuisines are accessible in larger cities for those craving variety.
Transportation in Laos can be a challenge due to the lack of public transportation. However, renting a scooter or using tuk-tuks are popular and cost-effective options for getting around. Travelers may also opt for buses and mini-busses when traveling between cities or towns.
Keep in mind that the cost of living in Laos may fluctuate depending on personal preferences and lifestyle choices. However, with its affordable accommodation, food, and overall relaxed atmosphere, the country remains an attractive option for digital nomads seeking a budget-friendly destination.
Culture and Language in Laos
Laos offers a rich and diverse culture, deeply rooted in Buddhist traditions. The local people, known for their warmth and hospitality, contribute to a welcoming environment for digital nomads. As a predominantly Buddhist country, spirituality and religious practices play an important role in shaping the social fabric of Laos.
The official language of Laos is Lao, which is closely related to Thai. While English is not widely spoken in rural areas, you can communicate without significant issues in major cities like Vientiane. Learning a few basic Lao phrases, such as greetings and thank you, is advisable to facilitate interactions with the locals.
Traditional arts and handicrafts have a strong presence in Laos, with a focus on textiles, woodcarving, and silverwork. As a digital nomad, you can immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets and workshops, which showcase the unique craftsmanship and cultural heritage of the Laotian people.
By embracing the unique culture and language of Laos, digital nomads can develop a deeper appreciation for the country’s heritage and build meaningful connections with the local community.
Lao Cuisine and Food Options
Laos offers digital nomads a variety of food options, ranging from budget-friendly street food to more upscale dining experiences. The cuisine in Laos is an exciting blend of flavors and ingredients, making it a fascinating destination for food lovers.
Laotian cuisine is characterized by its generous use of fresh herbs and vegetables, creating dishes that are both delicious and healthy. Sticky rice is a staple in Laos, often used as a utensil for scooping up flavorful sauces and dips. One of the most popular traditional dishes in Laos is larb, a spicy minced meat salad typically made with pork, chicken, or fish. The dish is usually flavored with chili, lime juice, and fish sauce, giving it a delightful combination of tangy, salty, and spicy flavors.
Another well-loved Laotian dish is tam mak hoong, a spicy green papaya salad. This refreshing salad is made from shredded green papaya, tomatoes, long beans, and peanuts, all tossed in a spicy-sour dressing. The dish is widely available at street food vendors and local markets, making it an excellent option for digital nomads looking for a quick and affordable meal.
While in Laos, digital nomads will also encounter a wide variety of street food options. These meals are typically served on small plastic tables with colorful plastic chairs, creating a laid-back and communal dining atmosphere. Grilled meats, such as sausages and skewers, are common street food staples, providing a convenient and flavorful snack for busy remote workers on the go.
In addition to traditional Laotian fare, you can also find international cuisine in cities like Vientiane. There is a growing expat community, which brings a demand for diverse food options, ranging from pizza and burgers to Indian and Thai dishes.
Overall, the food scene in Laos offers a diverse range of delicious options, making it easy for digital nomads to enjoy both local and international cuisine while experiencing the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Transportation and Mobility in Laos
When it comes to transportation in Laos, digital nomads have various options for getting around. For those who prefer public transport, buses are a common choice. They provide an affordable and reliable way to travel between cities and within some urban areas. However, bus services can be infrequent and may not always reach less populated locations.
For more personalized and convenient transportation, digital nomads can rent motorcycles or bicycles. Motorbikes are popular among locals and tourists alike, as they allow for easier exploration of the country’s winding roads and stunning landscapes. On the other hand, bicycles offer a healthier and more environmentally friendly option for navigating smaller towns and rural areas.
Tuk-tuks and taxis are also available in major cities such as Vientiane for quick and efficient transportation. These options may be slightly more expensive than buses or bike rentals but offer additional comfort and convenience. Tuk-tuks, in particular, are a popular mode of transportation for short distances and can be hailed from the roadside.
It is important to note that public transportation infrastructure in Laos is not as developed as in some neighboring countries. Digital nomads should keep this in mind and be prepared to adapt their travel plans accordingly. Despite these challenges, the country’s friendly locals and beautiful scenery make it a rewarding destination for those seeking a unique experience in Southeast Asia.
In conclusion, transportation options in Laos include buses, motorbikes, bicycles, tuk-tuks, and taxis. Each option has its advantages and limitations, so digital nomads need to consider their preferences, budget, and travel needs when making transportation choices in Laos. With the right planning and adaptability, Laos can provide a memorable and rich cultural experience for digital nomads.
Leisure and Outdoor Activities
Laos offers a range of leisure and outdoor activities that suit the desires of nature enthusiasts and adventure-seekers alike. The country’s diverse landscape boasts lush mountains, dense forests, and unforgettable rivers, providing idyllic settings for various outdoor pursuits.
Kayaking and tubing are popular pastimes for those who enjoy exploring the beautiful Laotian waterways. The Nam Ou, Mekong, and Nam Ngum rivers provide excellent opportunities to try your hand at these water-based activities. Paddling through the scenic river routes, digital nomads can unwind and connect with the stunning environment.
Rock climbing is another exciting way to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Laos. The limestone cliffs surrounding Thakhek and Vang Vieng offer fantastic spots for climbers of varying skill levels. Coupling adrenaline-pumping ascents with the reward of panoramic vistas, this activity is definitely worth trying for digital nomads who crave outdoor adventure.
Sightseeing: In addition to these adrenaline-fueled activities, Laos is also home to quaint villages and rich cultural heritage sites. Luang Prabang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, allows digital nomads to immerse themselves in local traditions and history.
When it comes to the weather in Laos, it is predominantly tropical, with two distinct seasons: wet and dry. The best time for outdoor activities is typically during the dry season, which runs from November to April. This period sees temperatures that are cooler and more comfortable for exploring and engaging in various pursuits. However, during the wet season, from May to October, digital nomads might find it more challenging to participate in some outdoor adventures due to rainfall.
In summary, Laos offers a unique combination of leisure and outdoor activities for digital nomads, catering to those who appreciate nature, culture, and adventure. From kayaking to rock climbing, there are ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to relish the distinctive experiences this charming Southeast Asian country has to offer.
Safety and Healthcare in Laos
Safety in Laos is generally good for digital nomads, with relatively low crime rates compared to other Southeast Asian countries. However, it is essential for individuals to take precautions in ensuring the safety of their belongings and personal safety. Being aware of your surroundings and taking necessary precautions, such as not walking alone at night or avoiding poorly-lit areas, can help ensure your safety while in Laos.
Healthcare in Laos, especially outside the capital, can be a challenge for digital nomads, as the country has limited healthcare infrastructure and medical care can be expensive for foreigners. Specialist treatments and advanced medical care might not be available in Laos, meaning that for serious medical issues or emergencies, it may be necessary to travel to a neighboring country like Thailand for treatment.
Given the limited healthcare infrastructure in Laos, digital nomads should also consider getting health insurance that covers medical treatments abroad. This would ensure that in case of an emergency, they have access to adequate medical care without facing significant financial burden.
In terms of vaccinations and preventative measures, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before traveling to Laos to ensure that you are up-to-date with necessary vaccinations, such as those for Hepatitis A, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis.
Preventative measures, such as using mosquito repellent, staying in accommodations with screened windows, and avoiding drinking tap water are also important in minimizing the risk of experiencing health issues while in Laos.
In summary, although safety in Laos is relatively good, digital nomads should be mindful of their surroundings and take necessary precautions to stay safe. Healthcare in Laos is limited, and thus, obtaining adequate health insurance and taking preventative measures are essential for digital nomads staying in the country.
Laos Visa for Digital Nomads
Laos does not currently offer a dedicated visa specifically designed for digital nomads. The tourist visa allows short-term stays, typically for a period of 1 to 2 months, depending on the applicant’s nationality.
Although the tourist visa is a viable option for digital nomads, it requires the occasional border run to maintain legal status within the country. It is worth noting that Laos does not have stringent visa extension policies, making it relatively easy for digital nomads to extend their stay.
Useful YouTube Videos for Digital Nomads in Laos
These hand-picked videos provide valuable insights into what life is like in Laos, from cost of living and local culture to the best spots for remote work. Whether you’re already en route or still in the planning stages, these resources are designed to equip you with practical advice and firsthand experiences from seasoned nomads who’ve explored Laos.
Brett Conti – The Most Underrated Country in the World | Laos
In this engaging travel vlog, Brett Conti explores why Laos is the most underrated country he has visited. From hiking mountains to discovering hidden waterfalls and engaging in tipsy tubing, Brett’s journey through Laos offers a unique and thrilling perspective. The video highlights the country’s unspoiled natural beauty and diverse experiences, making a strong case for why it deserves more attention on the global tourism stage.
Josie lifts things – LAOS is a Hidden Gem You MUST Visit!
In her travel vlog, Josie from “Josie lifts things” showcases the captivating beauty of Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. The video highlights the city’s stunning temples, markets, and architecture, emphasizing its picturesque location along the Mekong River. Josie’s journey in search of the famous Laos Sandwich and her experiences at the Vientiane Night Market provide viewers with a vivid impression of the city’s vibrant culture.
Reborn Abroad – Luang Prabang Laos 🇱🇦 The Next Digital Nomad Hotspot? Would You Live Here?
This video by Reborn Abroad takes viewers on an exploration of Luang Prabang, Laos, discussing its potential as the next hotspot for digital nomads. The video features a detailed walkthrough of Luang Prabang’s main streets, enabling viewers to grasp what it’s really like there.
Nat Nomad – The cost of living in Laos
Nat Nomad, an ex-Buddhist monk with a passion for travel, discusses the cost of living in Laos in this informative video. He shares insights from his unique perspective, having spent over 10 years as a monk before embarking on global adventures. The video offers a detailed and practical breakdown of the expenses associated with residing in Laos.
Digital Nomad in Laos: Conclusion
Digital Nomads in Laos may experience both challenges and benefits. On one hand, the country offers a serene atmosphere and affordable living. On the other hand, the limited healthcare infrastructure, unstable internet connectivity, and limited visa options may not cater well to their needs.
Despite some of the challenges, nomadic life in Laos can foster a meaningful experience by learning to adapt and tapping into the available resources. As a digital nomad, you should weigh the pros and cons and decide if Laos is the right fit for your lifestyle.